Ted Cruz antics hurt Ken Cuccinelli

Often called “Cooch” by those in the news media, he is a favorite of  the Tea Party, he is Virginia’s Attorney General … and he is running for governor.  

Ken Cuccinelli, running for Governor of Virginia

His name is Kenneth Thomas “Ken” Cuccinelli II, and  pundits say….he is in trouble.

Smiling Teaparty overpass protesters want President Obama arrested 

It has been my opinion for several weeks now (and the national if not the local media is starting to pick up on it ) that the gubernatorial dreams of  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli  may have become collateral damage in the battle waged by Texas Senator Ted Cruz and the extreme political right-wing in the American Congress to bring down a sitting President. 

 Many people  will tell you that the Teaparty “wing” of the Republican party had hoped to milk this governmental shutdown that they engineered  to overturn the outcome of the last Presidential election, but bad for them, the American people apparently would have none of it.


Local Teaparty bails on Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell

It would be an irony of the first order if the aborted attempts to cripple President Obama by the Teaparty firebrands in Congress resulted in  defeat at the polls of their primary political asset in Virginia.

Many believe as the Virginia Attorney General, Cuccinelli has certainly carried enough water for Teaparty. His attempt to bring down  Obamacare through what pundits called “Cuccinelli’s War” made him the stuff of legends among the “conservative” crowd in the Commonwealth.
You would think that getting elected in Old Virginia, where many an  old-timer and young buck too think they won the Civil War would be cake for a “conservative” candidate like Ken Cuccinelli and his ilk, especially since his political opponent in this current campaign, a fella named Terry McAuliffe, is hardly a political heavyweight or household name and inspires no passion even among the radical left.


President Barrack Obama, a winner in Virginia

That may have been true last century but Harry Byrd is long time dead, the political world is very different today.  It’s fair to say that during the last two Presidential elections the extreme right-wing operatives in the Commonwealth of Virginia were shocked…shocked  at how easily President Barack Obama was able to sweep them aside and claim victory in this important swing state.

Cuccinelli big in Teaparty hotspot Hanover County

It’s difficult to  tell where Cuccinelli comes down on the Teaparty these days.
When “shutdown” author Texas right-wing firebrand Senator Ted Cruz was in town a week or so ago, you did not see General  Cuccinelli share the stage with Cruz even though they were both speakers at the Family Foundation of Virginia Gala.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley stumps for Cuccinelli

And yet a week or so later  he was all smiles as he squired  Teaparty darlin’  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley around the Commonwealth.

Governor Nikki Haley all smiles talking shop with Ken Cuccinelli

And you’d be hard pressed to find a more passionate and likable defender of the Teaparty than the energetic Governor Nikki Haley.                                                            

General Cuccinelli shows the wear and tear of a hard campaign.
Polls do not bode well for Republican Ken Cuccinelli 

But this gubernatorial hopeful won’t be smiling as he reads the latest polls.

It’s clear that in Virginia the Teaparty is taking the blame for the government shutdown and support for General Cuccinelli, with his close ties to this political movement, is going down  with them.
(While the state and local media has yet to pick up on this developing story, it is getting some national play as in  this piece that aired on NPR recently.)

Gov Nikki Haley 

The troubled campaign of Ken Cuccinelli may have life in it yet though now that  cooler heads have prevailed  in the Republican House in Congress. Senator Cruz has caved and his Teaparty engineered crises has been short circuited. This is good news for the campaign of Ken Cuccinelli.

Teaparty can’t deliver state to Cuccinelli today

With the election still several weeks away there’s plenty of time for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to put this issue behind him and still claim victory.

Abandoned Persimmon Orchard , c 1976

After all, his  democratic opponent  is hardly setting the political world afire and like the Virginia persimmons not yet kissed by frost that grow in abundance in the uncultivated fields that line the highways and byways of Old Virginia,  Terry McAuliffe can make right-wing voters pucker and to some is a sour fruit indeed.



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Tracy Sears and Jack Rusak


We’re sharing today a shot of local broadcast news professionals Tracy Sears and Jack Rusak as they tour the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant in Central Virginia.
Tracy Sears and Jack Rusak were only two of a media contingent that toured the plant that day, almost a year the day after the Dominion Power Plant made history as the first in the United States to be shut down as the result of an earthquake.
The plant of course was soon up and running in good order

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Should VotingFemale be allowed to?

@VotingFemale check this one out

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Time to pull the public plug on NPR

Doc Thompson an dBrooke Gladstone

Right-wing Doc Thompson and NPR's Brooke Gladstone in cartoon form

It’s been a bad week for National Public Radio. A video sting made by a right-wing activist (James O’Keefe) made the scene that purported to expose a left-wing bias on the part of staff and management of this organization that depends to some small degree on raids on the United States Treasury for it’s  funding.

As a result of this expose’, both top money man Ron Schiller and CEO Vivian Schiller ( the same Vivian Schiller who screwed the pooch with the Juan Williams disaster in Fall of 2010) have been shown the door.
But that’s not the end of it, not by a long host.
Today (Sunday 13 March 2011), the staff and management of NPR made this issue front and center on several of their signature programs.
Liane Hansen along with David Folkenflik fired the first salvo with a report that attempted to make the case that the sting was basically a fraud.
Though she and reporter Folkenflik gave it the old college try, that dog didn’t hunt.  Hansen and Folkenflik were just firing blanks.
And then Peter Segal prominently featured the issue on his NPR quiz show “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me“.
Peter in the past has (IMO) not been particularly shy about making   conservative issues and personalities the butt of jokes in order to entertain an audience that to me at least, seems somewhat left of center.
As a senior citizen myself, I was especially offended by his characterization of  the  concerns of old people during the run up the the health care debate.
And finally, Brooke Gladstone capped off this day of talking points with a wide-ranging discussion of the issue on her show “On the Media”.
Listen to Brooke Gladstone opine on her show long enough, and I believe you can get a pretty good handle on where she’s coming from and it ain’t the right.
But this time Brooke actually did a  good job of  putting the issue in perspective, laving it to her comical sidekick Bob Garfield and to hired gun Ira Glass (from the excellent show “This American Life“) to pull a Mutt and Jeff act and (IMO)  carry the water for the liberal cause.
They made a lot of noise but offered no compelling rebuttal.
The problem for National Public Radio, and the reason I believe that the organization is trying to keep this issue alive, is that Congress is currently debating  cutting  their funding and frankly after this expose’, it’s almost impossible make a case that it should continue.
After all, we expect, nay, we demand, that the likes of  tea bag party  Glenn Beck and Doc Thompson do it on their dime and  there is no reason that we should not expect the same of NPR given the serious questions that raised by this “sting”, imperfect and tea party agenda driven as it was.
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Richmond Virginia ‘State of the Schools’ and Frankenstein lighting

Cell Phone picture of Dr. Yvonne Brandon provided by member of the audience

Richmond Virginia Schools Super Dr. Yvonne W. Brandon gives her annual “State of the Schools” speech at Henderson Middle School in Richmond Virginia, but what’s with the Frankenstein lighting?

Certainly, the school system wanted to take full advantage of their visual aids, but did Dr. Brandon have to look like she was speaking from inside of a tin can?

Another oddity were the foreign Countries the Richmond Virginia School System chose to close out their presentation.

The bit consisted  of some area school children singing and say “goodbye” in various languages from around the world. It was nicely done but their choice of countries included, and even more importantly, those EXCLUDED seemed rather bizarre.

Those included were America, Africa, Spain, Mexico, Hawaii (a State, not a Country by the way), Israel and France.

Notable by their absence was the whole of China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the whole of the Middle East, Russia, Germany of course, and Scandinavia and South America and Canada.

What on earth were they thinking and what if anything can we read into excluding some of the most important countries on earth when it comes to the well-being and security of these children as they grow into adulthood in an increasingly hostile world?

Perhaps the school leaders wanted to pick countries that are  noncontroversial  in keeping with the tone of Dr. Brandon’s speech itself. Some negatively  was directed at the news media and no  mention made of the challenges that have faced the Richmond Virginia School system lately such as the resistance by many in the community to the new Patrick Henry Charter School and the use of iron grates at George Wythe High School in Richmond’s South Side during lunch hours.

Nice effort, it’s just too bad they never heard of a back light and the concept of background separation.

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Murder rate on increase in Richmond Virginia

Some shocking news from our neighbors back East in Virgina’s Capitol City.

Another woman died by violence  in Hillside Court this week, on the same street where two people were gunned down at around 4 am New Years Day.

Hillside Court is a housing project in South Richmond Virginia, and has been  the scene of a number of violent acts the past year.

Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood is the top cop in Richmond Virgina and his reaction to this latest homicide can be found in this article in a local news paper.

Additional City of Richmond police units have been assigned to patrol  Hillside Court, but some local residents are skeptical that it will change anything.

One of our local television stations in the Roanoke area reports that homicides in the Capitol City were up 19 percent in 2010. You can read see their story here .

Richmond Virginia is no stranger to high murder rates. At one time, it had the second highest in the country per capita, but has since declined on the national scene.

Sidebar :City of Richmond Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood’s resume can be found here.

His primary public relations contact is a former local television news anchor Gene Leply. Leply heads the well staffed public relations arm of the Richmond Police Department and according to their web page, they can be reached at this 804.646.6842 number.

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Bikers on your tail

In the set up to this opus, we asked if honest citizens have anything to fear from the explosion of “biker gangs” that are in growing numbers roaring up and down our highways and byways in menacing fashion.

In spite of their unkempt appearance and snotty looks, most take them as nothing more than middle-aged men dealing with the loss of their youth and seeking the company of buds and what passes these days as the “open road” to get them through their mid-life crises.

This is an image promoted by the bikers themselves, when local governments seek to bring some law and order to these self-styled “knights of the highways”.

“Who us?”, they ask with wide-eyed innocence, “We’re just harmless and lovable fuzz balls looking for a ride”.

I bought into that too. Until a recent encounter with a small pack of them on a suburban byway that is. Now I wonder if honest citizens need to start packing heat.

It was an average weekend in the Fall in the Mid-Atlantic region. I was tooling down a four lane divided suburban roadway.

The speed limit was 45, I was going 50. I was traveling south bound, staying in the left lane because I was tooling along faster than the other traffic.

In my rear view mirror I could see a gang of 6 bikers about 2 city blocks back traveling at the same speed I was.

They seemed a jovial group, making with the “bro-sign” to north bound bikers as we made our way to the bridge.

When we hit the stop light just before the bridge, they caught up with me and came to a halt a respectable distance back.

I was studying them in my rear view mirror, interested in the variety of head-gear they were wearing, some of which was clearly illegal.

A dude in the back, wearing what could best be described as a “half moon” or “skull cap’ type helmet maneuvered his hog to  the front of the pack.

“Skull cap” was a real piece of work, and it turns out, he had his eyes on me.

As he drew up beside the LoP (leader of the pack) he shouted while pointing at me “You need to do something about that asshole. You need to move him out of the way”.

The LoP said something I couldn’t make out, due to his full helmet and dirty beard. Whatever he said, “skullcap” was satisfied and withdrew to the back of the pack, shouting “make it happen”.

“Scum”, I said to myself, doing a slow burn while trying to reach the video camera I always have beside me for this kind of incident. But I had bought apples and couldn’t reach the camera before the light changed.

Coming up, how  this pack of bikers “made it happen”.

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Biker gangs, are they looking to take you down?

A half century ago, the sight of  beefy men wearing dirty denim and  “colors” astride powerful bikes would strike fear into the hearts of honest motorists, especially those with hot buxom wives and daughters.

The movies and media were full of tales of violent attacks on lonely rural roads and the debauching of virgins (so-called).

That fear is a thing of the past. Today most people see these  roving gangs of bikers as   middle-aged men going through a mid-life crisis, finding companionship and comfort with a throbbing machine between their legs and the wind in their face as they tool around the urban landscape with their buds

I bought into that too, based largely on the comments of the bikers themselves who  promote their sport as simply another social club when the “squares” and  local government bureaucrats (or the fuzz) seek to “regulate” them in some form or fashion.

I bought into it, until today that is. Now I’m wondering if we aren’t selling them short. In an upcoming post, we’ll pose the question “does the honest citizen need to fear these hog of the highway?”

At least one personal encounter sez they should.

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Tips for new bloggers

Some one would say, I’m hardy the one to write on this topic, considering that this blog, The Mid-Atlantic Field Guide, has only been in existence for less than 24 hours, but to them I say that this is not my first and only experiment in the blogosphere.

In fact, The Mid-Atlantic Field Guide is a secondary blog for me, just one of several that I now run. And while none of my blogs area setting the blogosphere afar as we say,  at least one gets some attention due to events currently unfolding in the entrainment industry.

Avoiding Pitfalls

I’m not going to waste time rehashing information you can find in other places provided by people far more knowledgeable than I. Rather than travel that shopworn road, I’m going to offer up something unique and tell you why “success” is not always good.

I starting blogging, like most, in all innocence thinking that a high traffic rate is the goal and the goal is “good”. Friends, workmates, family, neighbors, I proudly pointed them all to my brand new blog.

I linked to social media like Facebook, YouTube, Flickr. Spread my URL throughout the Internet via comment boxes on uncounted websites and other people’s blogs. In fact, I spent so much time “spreading the word” that I neglected my content, going weeks between a post.

It took some time, but the effort, by my modest standards, proved  successful. I didn’t pick up many readers, but I picked up “enough”. I even scored a coup or two by being sourced in the local media.

But I soon found in that success (small as it might be), there was a trap. I had started the blog as a place to “sound off”, to visit the areas that concerns for the reactions and feelings  of family and friends and co-workers otherwise prevented me from exploring.

But I quickly discovered that when the potential for these same people to be reading your blog, “sounding off” quickly fell by the wayside and the self-censorship was, if anything, more of a trap than it is in the  face to face engagements.

This was brought home in spades when I linked my primary blog to Facebook, where most of my “friends” are based on common interest in one area and not people I really know. I soon discovered that Facebook is like a roach motel, once you check in, you cannot check out. Once linked, you’re screwed forever.

Coming up, why one blog is only enough for the tender minded.

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Tomorrow is the day I eat fish

It’s always the same, broiled salmon on a bed of rice served up with broccoli and green beans  and 2 greasy hush puppies. Served up by a grumpy staff with an indifferent  insolence.

But what can you expect from Fast Food Seafood?

I’ve recently discovered Waffle House. I’ve recently had to modify my diet because of heath issues and strange it may seem, Steak and Eggs have become acceptable fare.

Waffle House is an interesting place to eat. I only go on off hours and am often the only customer. Even so, the large counter staff is always busy. I get my Steak and Eggs in short order, and Waffle House is the only eatery I’ve been in where they offer up a cup “to go” of your beverage of choice when you pay your check and leave.

I ran across an interesting link on another blog. Check out this blog James River News.

It looks like a group called The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities has come out with their latest World Standings of thoroughbred racehorses, and there are some surprises.

The much ballyhooed and Virginia bred Quality Road stays at #2 while the great Zenyatta has dropped from #8 to #9.
What makes this poll by the IFHA so interesting is that Quality Road is ranked #2 on the basis of a SECOND place finish, while the horse that beat QR in the Whitney, a champion named Blame, could only grab #9.

Zenyatta of course, is perfect in 19 starts, and made history by beating the boys (Zenyatta is a mare) in the 2009 BC Classic.

This link, provided by James River News makes for some interesting reading.

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